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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  January 15, 2013 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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largely cosmetic features like a bayonet mount, flash suppressor, or pistol grip. even the u.s. states that have an assault weapons ban define them differently. semiautomatic weapons are a broad category that include the most popular guns used for self-defense, competition, and hunting. when president obama promises that no one's talking about taking away your hunting rifle or your self-defense handgun, it matters that gun control activists may, in fact, be talking about taking away your hunting rifle or your self-defense handgun, whether they know it or not. so let's forgo the arbitrary, ambiguous, fearmongering terms and get real specific about what we actually mean by gun control. it may be politically effective to rail against rapid fire, high capacity, assault weapons. doesn't actually mean anything. so if we're serious, we should at least start by getting the terms right. okay.
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that does it for "the cycle." martin, it's all yours. >> just a quick question. how many rounds did jared loughner fire off before he was tackled? >> what's your point? >> how many rounds had he fired off? >> i'm not sure. i don't remember. >> 31. >> okay. >> he was actually tackled because he was reloading. >> we should be trying to stop crazy people and criminals, martin, from shooting one person, not ten-plus one person which all is accomplished when you ban high capacity magazines. that's all that's accomplished. >> okay. thank you very much. good afternoon. it's tuesday, january the 15th, and the pressure is on the white house, congress, and the nation to take action and prevent another slaughter of innocent children. ♪
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♪ >> our hearts are broken. our spirit is not. this is our promise h the sandy hook promise. >> if there is a step we can take that will save even one child from what happened in newtown, we should take that step. >> my dad would always say ben is going to do amazing things, and i always say now i just didn't know it was going to be in his death. i thought it was going to be in his life. ♪ under pressure, pressure
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>> we begin as the president prepares to unveil his plan to address gun violence with an announcement at midday tomorrow. even as congress waits in the wings with responses ranging from deep skepticism to threats of impeachment. yes, but white house spokesman jay carney said this afternoon that just because something is difficult, it doesn't mean it's not worthwhile. >> we can no longer stand by without taking action. we will look to congress to put together, you know, a legislative strategy. we'll work with them, and we will push for things that are hard because they're the right things to do. >> the president will be joined by vice president joe biden who presented his task force recommendations monday. also joining the president tomorrow will be children who wrote letters to the white house after the deadly shooting at sandy hook elementary school just over a month ago. and this pivotal moment comes as more americans are calling for stricter gun laws.
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a new "washington post" post shows 52% of people believe the shooting at sandy hook has made them more supportive of gun control. the latest pew survey shows big support for universal background checks and preventing gun sales to the mentally ill. broad backing for a federal gun database and the banning of semiautomatic weapons. so why is it that even the suggestion of such measures is provoking such fear and trembling from conservative quarters? possible executive action such as limiting gun imports, sharing mental health records, and, heaven forbid, researching the public health impact of guns have led this congressman, steve stockman, of texas to threat be impeachment if the president pursues any infringement of gun rights. edwin meese is the late toast jump on that bandwagon. as the president has said many times, he believes in the second amendment, right to bear arms, and has no desire to limit the
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rights of responsible gun owners. but how can he do nothing and answer to the families of 20 children and 6 school staffers riddled with bullets? how can he answer the parents of slain 6-year-old ben wheeler who spoke with my colleague rachel madd ow on monday. >> just, just don't stop think being this. just keep thinking about this. keep this in your head. >> my dad would always say ben is going to do amazing things, and i always say now, i just didn't know it was going to be in his death. i thought it was going to be in his life. >> those are the people whom the president has to answer to today, tomorrow, and every day. joining us now is congressman john larson, democrat of connecticut. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon, martin. >> mr. larson, i have been struck by your public comments since that terrible day in december. you said, and i'm quoting you,
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we have to act. we can't just stand and lower flags and ache with everybody. but in the last few days, we've heard that an assault weapons ban wouldn't make it through congress. the nra says reducing high capacity magazines would also fail. so what do you expect could be done to address the issue of gun violence in america? >> well, just because things appear to be hard, doesn't mean we shouldn't attempt to do them. and as you pointed out at the start of the show, martin, i think the american people have the memory of these children is permanently seared in everyone's memory, and the fierce urgency of now in taking action is upon this congress. that, of course, has caused the lobbies to act and repel against it, but it doesn't mean that we shouldn't continue to put
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forward common sense, practical legislation. mike thompson, who has been designated by nancy pelosi in our caucus to head up a special task force, has been holding hearings, and i think what's gripping the country is that there are common sense, practical solutions. and standing behind that is the resolve of a president, our president, who i was fortunate to fly to connecticut with. when he came out and spoke, he said this was the worst day of my presidency, and you could see to the marrow of the individual how much this has impacted this president and his resolve to protect our children. and as congress has demonstrated most recently with respect to fiscal cliffs, that it cannot act, i expect the president will. and i applaud him for taking
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executive action, and doing so where he can, abiding by the constitutional amendment, which, of course, as you know, martin, says there shall be a wel well-regulated militia. it has nothing to do with taking the guns out of the hands of people but regulating and control assault weapons, capacity clips, making sure that there's universal background checks for people. come on. these are common sense, practical things that we can agree on, and, in fact, most members of the nra agree with universal background checks and closing the loopholes that exist out there is that we can in a very practical sense stop the violence. and, yes, mental health issues, yes, the culture of violencviol make sure we're incorporating all we need to do, but let's act. >> but are you suggesting, sir, that the president should take executive action in relation to
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assault weapons? are you suggesting that he should take executive action to ban those weapons? >> i am suggesting that the president take whatever executive action he deems escapable of doing and that his legal advisers advise him on with respect to its constitutionality, with respect to the executive prerogatives that he has to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our citizens, especially our children. >> congressman john larson, sir, thank you very much, indeed. i want to bring in msnbc contributor joy reid, who is the managing editor of we're hearing about the president weighing something like 19 steps that could be taken. but in addition we hear that larry pratt, the executive director of gun owners of america, says background checks are a complete waste of time. we've also heard from a number of people who say, including
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harry reid, suggesting that an assault weapons ban wouldn't get through the house. you just heard a member of the house saying he believes the president should take any action. what's your reaction? >> absolutely. people like larry pratt and the nra also oppose things like making sure someone on the terrorist watch list can't get a gun. they don't believe in any restrictions whatsoever. look, nothing in the second amendment says that you have the right to bear arms cheaply and without any convenience. the government has the right to regulate in any way to the limits of the law. they absolutely can do that and they have a compelling interest in doing that. there are things the executive could do without congress and the president should do them all. we haven't had an atf, head of the atf for six years. they should vigorously go after gun trafficking. a lot of weapons are bought in the secondary market. >> 40% of gun sales have no background check whatsoever. >> exactly. >> 40%. >> exactly. all you would have to do to close that up would be to say, okay, fine, if you sell a gun to someone who otherwise couldn't pass a background check, then
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the liability for any crime committed with that weapon rebounds to you. that would create an incentive for people to do it on their own without any mandate from congress, that people would start doing background checks if they thought they could be liable. >> many of our viewers have been watching new york governor andrew cuomo who at this point the new york assembly at this moment is voting through an assault weapons ban and the reduction of magazine clips to something like seven rounds. we've also heard about maryland governor martin o'malley who is even considering fingerprinting as a possible -- in relation to ownership of firearms. what people don't understand is whatever those two do in their states has no bearing elsewhere. that's why there needs to be federal action. >> absolutely. rahm emanuel has said they can do strict gun regulation in chicago and they'll have guns come in through indiana. we're going to a country which is essentially two nations, one sane, one insane. we have great regulation in new york and that's why new york city is the safest big city in the country.
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cities like new orleans are killing fields. if people want to have uniformity in terms of being able to be safe as you travel from state to state, there has to be some federal overlay. >> we mentioned at the beginning that the president tomorrow when he announces the recommendations that the vice president has presented to him through this task force will make an appearance with several children. >> right. >> and conservative radio host chris plante called it shameless on fox news. here he is. let's take a listen. >> it's cynical. it is shameless. they will be stacked according to skin color and ethnicity to frame the president's face because it's essentially part of the propaganda package as they present their bill of goods. >> when you heard congressman larson describe the president's reaction to that shooting and then you hear that individual describe what's proposed for tomorrow, what's your reaction? >> i think what's really shameless, the nra putting out in the midst of all of our
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continuing grief over the sandy hook shooting, essentially a violent video game where children as young as 4 can shoot at coffin-shaped targets. >> that's been some speculation about whether that's accurate, whether that's true, whether that's actually happening. we're not certain that's happening. going back to that individual suggesting that the president tomorrow is doing nothing other than framing his own ethnic color face with other ethnic faces. >> the issue, look, is that children were the victims in the sandy hook shooting. we want to protect them. so the idea of the imagery of children, god forbid we should want them protected and they should be able to speak to an issue. by the way, they'll be in the capitol where you're not allowed to bring a gun in and that's why they'll be perfectly safe there. the irony of that shouldn't be lost on anyone. >> it isn't. joy reid, thank you so much. next, the president takes on congress again. stay with us. >> when i'm over here at the congressional picnic and folks are coming up and taking
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pictures with their family, i promise you, michelle and i are very nice to them and we have a wonderful time. but it doesn't prevent them from going onto the floor of the house and blasting me for being a big spending socialist. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last,
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house republicans are finding it tough to get support even among conservatives for their debt ceiling hostage tactics. today it was the editors of the national review who said it was a bad idea. americans for prosperity, which is backed by, yes, the koch brothers, also said it was a bad idea. even newt gingrich, the rotund king of so many boad ideas, has
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said enough. >> in the end it's a threat they can't sustain. no one is going to defall. no one is going to allow the united states to not pay its bills. >> joining us now from washington is david corn, d.c. bureau chief for "mother jones" magazine and jared bernstein is a senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities. good afternoon to both of you. jared, if president obama were the one holding the debt ceiling hostage, right as the housing, auto, and retail sectors seem to be rebounding, wouldn't the house republicans be calling the president's tactics those of a socialist who wanted to bring down the american economy? >> i think they would, and i appreciate your bringing the economy into it. the president did that yesterday. the more we talk about the debt ceiling after obsessing over the fiscal cliff, the more i look at the whole thing as a massive dangling the key or, you know, don't look over here at the real economy, which is where people would really like policymakers to be dealing, but look at this
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so-called fiscal crisis which doesn't even exist. the president very clearly, and i thought helpfully, spelled out the numbers yesterday and actually to get from where we are, given the spending cuts and tax increases that we've implemented so far, to where we need to be to stabilize the debt, is not that heavy a lift if we had a functional politics that was actually paying attention to what needs to be done instead of creating these ridiculous self-inflicted skirmishes and wounds. as you have correctly pointed out, you have even got conservatives spokespeople saying, look, this isn't going to happen, you're not going to do this. we're going to have one of these last minute solutions again. if that is truly the case and if history is precedent, it will be, we really have to ask ourselves about our priorities. >> and yet, david, the problem is the fitch ratings agency has already threatened a ratings downgrade. and it even has a retort who think debt ceiling hostage taking can be a weapon against
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spending calling it an infective and potentially dangerous mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline. so what is this obsession they have of falling on their sword and taking the country with them. >> there you go again, martin, sticking to the factses. >> i apologize. >> we're talking about the house republicans. >> sorry. >> at least half of them. i do think we see an emerging standard being set amongst our republican friends. that is the difference between an adult republican and a toddler republican. adult republicans, i have to say newt gingrich is often straddled this line -- >> he has. >> -- now believe it is wrong to play politics with default. but there are still toddler republicans out there who want to either have a default, if not a default, a government shutdown. if not a government shutdown, they want to have a tantrum on the steps of the white house. you know, at a certain point in time. so this is really somewhat of an identity crisis -- >> here is the problem, david.
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the analogy sounds funny. the problem is the toddlers could topple the economy. >> exactly. well, that's the whole issue here, to what degree are they able to bring the economy down. will john boehner at the end of the day have to do what he did with the tax bill, which is basically cede control of the house more or less to the democrats and have most of his party vote against something but allow a vote to come up that will let democrats and nancy pelosi yet again rescue the day. >> okay, jared. i want to play you something the president said on monday. you referenced it yourself. take a listen. >> they will not collect or ransom an exchange for not crashing the american economy. the financial well-being of the american people is not leverage to be used. >> jared, i put it to you, do they not realize this fight isn't just hurting the economy. it's also helping this president look like the only grown-up in
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washington. >> i don't think they're calculus on this stuff is as rational as your question suggests, of course. but, again, if you actually get out of this beltway, and i try to do it as much as possible, and talk to people, the question i consistently get is why doesn't washington really care about the problems that we face? and when you mention recent housing numbers hupp up 7%, retp 5% over the past year -- >> chrysler mentioning a record sales number. >> it's an economy that is slowly improving. by the way, too slowly in my estimation and if anything you'd want your congress to be figuring out ways to accelerate that growth as opposed to talking about an idea, this default, that not only will decelerate growth, but will actually add significantly to the our debt burden. a 1/100 of a percent, one basis
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point, incress in the interest rate would increase our debt burden by $1 billion. >> there's something else here, excuse me for interrupting, jared, and that's the debt ceiling fight shows that the republicans have one idea, and that's to cut spending. they don't do that when george w. bush was -- >> i thought their one idea, david, was cutting the deficit. >> that's -- they say that's the case, but it really is they want to just talk about spending cuts as if that is going to help the economy. and any mainstream economist now tells you that you may have to do that in some ways for long-term deficit implications but that's not good in the short run. even simpson/bowles say don't cut so fast. >> and just to be clear, it's not at all clear that they actually have coherent plans for anything they're suggesting.
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they have sort of hand waving spending cuts, entitlement reform without really writing down a specific path to get there. >> incredible. david corn and jared bernstein, gentlemen, thank you so much. stay with us. we'll be right back. what do we want to build next ? that's the question. every day. when you have the most advanced tools, you want to make something with them. something that helps. helps safeguard our shores. helps someone see through a wall of fire. helps those nowhere near the right doctor stand a chance. ... feeling in the extremities ? no. technology can do that. who can tell me the third life cycle stage of the frog ? it can take a sick kid to school. nathan. tadpole.
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as an american express cardmember you can expect some help. but what you might not expect, is you can get all this with a prepaid card. spends like cash. feels like membership. a note on yet another shooting inside a place of learning. two people were shot this afternoon at the stevens institute of business and arts in st. louis. the details are developing, but one person reportedly a financial aid visce adviser, wa found in a stairwell. the suspect and male student then shot himself as police responded. both men are in critical condition. this latest episode of violence comes at the same moment that we learn new york state has just passed the strictest gun safety measure in the country. stay with us. the day's "top lines" are coming up. [ male announcer ] house rule number 46.
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from a defining moment in the national gun debate to the socialist president apparently unable to socialize. here are today's "top lines." so sorry to offend. >> sensible steps we can take to make sure that somebody can't walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children. in a shockingly rapid fashion. >> eye put two children on the bus and only one came home. >> ben is going to do amazing things, i just didn't know it was going to be in his death. >> there are some steps we can take. >> one inch further i'm going to start killing people. >> why would you ever want to take away this man's guns? >> you compare white populations, we have the same murder rate as belgium. >> guns are the civil rights victims of our time. it's no coincidence that most of them are black. >> it's not a gun problem. it is a demographic problem. >> how sick are these people
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that have commandeers the nra. >> i'm a pretty friendly guy and i like a good party, but it doesn't prevent them from blasting me for being a big spending socialist. >> concern about obama, he's going to go full on like socialist, black panther. >> a lack of diversity just shocks me. >> maybe he needs a book of binders. >> i would suggest that everybody wait until they've seen all my appointments. >> a dark vein of intolerance. >> reckless and irresponsible and fundamentally dishonest man. >> they still look down on minorities. >> colin powell used to be a republican. i don't think he is anymore. >> shucking and jiving, that's a racial era slave term. >> a couple stray comments, one of them by sarah palin. >> whole birther movement. >> weapon of mass destruction has been found, it's colin powell. >> if the republican party doesn't change, they'll be in trouble. >> if i apologize to everybody i may have offended, i wouldn't be
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able to do anything else that apologize. >> let's get to maria teresa kum kumar. the president at his press conference was at pains to explain that he's a friendly guy. he's happy to socialize with anyone to get something done. but isn't it a little bit rich to complain about the man's sociability given that mitch mcconnell and other leading republicans set out to basically destroy his presidency and other conservatives regularly spend time suggesting that what he should be repay tri yated to kenya. >> unfortunately the republican party keeps saying the president should play nice. he doesn't even come to his house when he opens his doors and invites them to watch a movie with spielberg. i'm referring to "lincoln." basically the republican party keeps talking on two sides of their face and not being hon west the american people they just don't like this president. but that's one of the reasons why the president recognizes his
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vacuum when it comes to that leadership. that's why he keeps sending vice president biden down to the congress to the negotiate on his behalf because they just don't like him. >> let's look at the record, maria teresa. speaker boehner has declined invitations to state dinners for each of the following countries, south korea, germany, china, mexico, india, and, of course, great britain. as for republican senate leader mitch mcconnell he turned down invasions for the state dinners of india and china. he even declined to come to the white house then the president was celebrating his home state's college basketball championships. but it's the president's fault that republicans aren't comfortable with him. explain that to me. >> something that may not be well-known is when boehner actually did go to one of these open houses that the white house has. he didn't go down and didn't do the presidential hello. he didn't do the receiving line. he didn't shake the president's hand. he held court in a corner with his fellow republicans, and i
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think whoch goes to someone's house and doesn't say hello to the host. that's just manners. how are you supposed to negotiate with someone who doesn't want to? it's a matter of meeting someone more than halfway. it's one thing to be politically tough, to negotiate tough, to really want to represent your constituency, and there's another one when you're just plain rude. i think most americans would be appalled to have someone represent them that way. >> indeed. especially in reaction to the president of the united states. let's bring in professor james peterson of lehigh university who has managed to join us somewhat belatedly but we're always delighted to have him. we're going to be talking about "lincoln" a little later in the broadcast. the film has been received as an ode to the virtues of political compromise, and yet when mr. spielberg came to the white house for a screening, a group of republican leaders from capitol hill were invited. professor, here is your examination for the day. have a guess at how many actually showed up. >> zero showed up, martin.
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and that's sort of the way things are in washington right now. you know -- >> but it's always the president's fault. he's the one who is cold. he's the one who doesn't socialize. he's the one who doesn't give them phone calls. he's the problem, never them. >> well, listen, they have accepted very few of his invitations like this. as you know. but i think there's something else that people really don't want to talk about. part of the political disconnect comes from the fact that a lot of these folk on the right just don't like this president. and we can talk about maybe some of the racial implications of this, but at the end of the day, it can't rest on the obama administration's side if these folk do not accept these kinds of invitations. and i think we've had so many critiques of the president not playing enough golf with them, not doing enough engagement outside of the sort of the confines of the capitol and of the white house, but there are some social challenges for the first black president. and he's tried to overcome those challenges. i think a lot of his picks this term and this time around reflect the fact that he's got to negotiate with a lot of white
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males in washington and that's a challenge for this administration and for this particular president. again, we can talk about the racial implications but at the end of the day the social impact is unfortunately leaving us in a stalemate in washington. >> it is and it's a very poor example. maria teresa, this would all be a bit funny if it didn't have regrettable consequences in the real world, but how is the president supposed to push through, for example, any kind of immigration reform when the leaders of the opposition won't even take in a movie with him? >> well, and i think -- >> tell me. >> i think -- you referred to something very astutely. they haven't been able to differentiate the man, which is barack obama, and the presidency, which is the highest ranking officer of our country. and i think that is what they don't realize is they're disparaging the office that basically leads not only the country but the free world, and when we start talking about how are they going to negotiate comprehensive immigration reform, they're going to send vice president biden.
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that's great, but the republicans need to understand that in order for them to pass comprehensive immigration reform, they're going to need to have a coalition of republicans and diversity within the democratic party on both sides. i think colin powell said it best. colin powell, a republican that has served on several administrations, he's tried to shepherd the republican party into a new era, and it's not a matter of just touting one person of color every so often for the republican party. american voters understand when someone is not being authentic and i think not only do they have a diversity problem, they have an authenticity problem. >> professor, to her point, colin powell took issue with some of the racially coded rhetoric used by republicans, specifically former governor palin's reference to shucking and jiving. what did you make of the way republicans responded to what the general said? >> well, listen, they're not ready for the powell playbook because what he did was he gave them the directions for everything they need to do as a party going forward. he touched upon all the issues, immigration, the 47%, you know,
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being challenged around issues of people with color. he laid out a blueprint for them but they can't hear it yet. some folk on the right can hear it, but the republicans are not quite ready to deal with the demographics of reality. >> dr. james peterson and maria teresa kumar. thank you both. next, lincoln and the art of compromise. is most of what we know wrong? stay with us. [ male announcer ] ahh... retirement. sit back, relax, pull out the paper and...what!!?? an article that says a typical family pays $155,000 in "wall street" fees on their 401(k)s? seriously? seriously. you don't believe it? search it, "401k 155k." then go to e-trade. and roll over your old 401(k)s to a new e-trade retirement account. we have every type of retirement account. none of them charge annual fees, and all of them offer low cost investments. why? because we're not your typical wall street firm, that's why. so you keep more of your money. e-trade. less for us. more for you.
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president lk struggled to abolish slavery, reminds us that enduring progress is forged in a cauldron of both principle and compromise. >> steven steel berg's "lincoln" is more than a celebrated movie. at the golden globes former president bill clinton gave the film its most ringing
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endorsement yet saying that is shows how all of the great decisions in american history were forged in, quote, a cauldron of principle and compromise. now, that's a lovely phrase, of course, but is it true? let's bring in thomas frank of harper's magazine. good afternoon, tom. >> hey, martin. >> thank you for looking in my direction. now, tom, what is wrong with you because everyone from david brooks to bill clinton is in love with this film, but you say in your latest column, "lincoln" is a move ni that makes viewers feel noble at first but on reflection the sentiment feels hollow. it's not only a hackneyed film but a mendacious one as well. what is wrong with you? >> i don't know, martin. it's something -- it's congenital or something. i'm always like this. i'm always going the wrong direction, but it doesn't surprise me that bill clinton is going to celebrate something like this. i mean, come on. this is a man that invented
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triangulation. and you think of all the great triumphs of triangulation, of bipartisanship in the clinton years. deregulation of the financial industry, alan greenspan at the head of the federal reserve, triumphs, triumphs, martin, i tell you. >> but, tom, you can't possibly be dissatisfied with the outcome in real life because, of course, we know what lincoln achieved. >> right, of course, right. because at the end of the day they abolished slavery. that's right. the thing is, i mean, the way this movie is constructed, they have chosen very specific examples to prove what they want to prove when there's these much greater examples out there. look, if you want to make a movie about compromise and you want to set it in the middle of the 19th century, lincoln is not your man. your man is steven douglas. that's what you want to be making a movie about. >> okay. you're not the only one to pick up on this theme of compromise in "lincoln." here is president clinton again
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from the golden globes. take a listen. >> in "lincoln" we see a man more interesting than the legend and a far better guide for future presidents. every hard-fought effort to perfect our union has demanded the same, same combination of steely resolve and necessary compromises that lincoln mastered. >> now, tom, you think that this film and president clinton are distorting the true lessons of history. you say -- >> it's just a complete -- the dude has taken like the big e biggest -- all the big wigs in d.c. gather around and talk about how genius it is. it's like, you know, it's just -- it's a cliche on top of a cliche crowned with a cliche. i mean, what am i supposed to say? where should i begin? bipartisanship, okay. the book it's based on, doris
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kearns goodwin's "team of rivals." >> i know what you think of that book. people point out the parallels between president clinton and our current president. here is a question. what lesson would you like the current president to take from the true lincoln in your view? >> well, look, lincoln did a lot more of the success in abolishing slavery if we're going to talk about the great triumph of the lincoln years, winning the civil war, abolishing slavery, 90% of that was idealism, not compromise. the movie shows us the compromise. i'm from kansas. we fought a war with missouri over slavery, but it was against compromise, that border war. this had been going on for decades and decades. if you ask me, barack obama's great failures are his zeal to
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compromise. he's always looking for a grand bargain. this is why he wasn't able to defeat conservatives when they were totally on the ropes in 2008. when the financial crisis had discredited everything they stood for but they were able to rally their troops with the tea party movement and claim to be idealists. the country wanted idealism but the democratic party only wants to give them compromise and this is why he can never finish the job. >> tom, so you haven't answered that question. here is another one. how do you think lincoln would handle gun control or the debt ceiling or a whole range of other issues that the current president -- >> look, martin, du h, lincoln would agree with me on everything. this is the unmistakable mandate of history. we all know this. >> right. thank you very much. thomas frank, thank you. next, the president may be one step closer to getting his man. but first, sue herera has the cnbc market wrap. good afternoon. >> good to see you, martin. let's check in on how wall
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street finished today's trading session. it was a volatile trading day and the dow jones managed to gain 27 points. the s&p gained just under 2 points on the trading session. and the nasdaq with a drag from face boonk to the downside finished down 6.75 points. that's it from cnbc. we are first in business worldwide. martin is back after a quick break. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work. and his new boss told him two things -- cook what you love, and save your money. joe doesn't know it yet, but he'll work his way up from busser to waiter to chef before opening a restaurant specializing in fish and game from the great northwest. he'll start investing early, he'll find some good people to help guide him, and he'll set money aside from his first day of work to his last, which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade.
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the president's choice to be the next defense secretary has gotten a critical boost. new york senator chuck schumer has given his seal of approval to his former senate colleague, chuck hagel. a decision that could rally senate democrats and signal an easier path for hagel's confirmation. for more on this now we're joined by nbc's kristin welker
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at the white house. how big a push does hagel get from chuck schumer's endorsement? earlier in the week there was some ambivalence from chuck schumer, wasn't there? >> reporter: absolutely. i think hagel get a big push. i think a lot of eyes were on chuck schumer to see what he decides. he met with hagel. the two sat down at the white house, had a long meeting, and chuck schumer came out of that meeting essentially saying he now supports hagel's nomination for secretary of defense. one of the key points he makes is that he feels as though hagel has shifted positions on some of these controversial issues and comments that he brought up in the past, on iran, on israel, and he specifically says that hagel now understands the fact that israel is in a more endangered spot than it was, essentially acknowledging the administration's position which is that iran has gotten closer to acquiring nuclear weapons, so hagel basically telling schumer he would support unilateral action on iran, would not take
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any option off the table as it pertains to iran around understands some of his comments in the past about israel were in his words not appropriate, not well-stated. so i think a lot of people are going to be swayed by this decision that schumer has made and don't forget, martin, it's not just chuck schumer, it's also barbara boxer who has come out this week and said that she would support hagel's nomination for secretary of defense. so these key democrats coming out and saying they are, in fact, planning to back hagel. i think that is allowing the white house to breathe to some extent a sigh of relief, although administration officials say they always believed in the end he would be confirmed. of course, he is a vietnam war veteran. a lot of people said it would be tough for him to be voted down. i think this is a big boost for him. >> and yet his opponents have been publishing full page advertisements in national newspapers, and i imagine that the hearings will nevertheless be pretty contentious. >> reporter: they will be, and you have the republican national
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committee coming out today saying that hagel is just flip-flopping on some of these issues out of expediency. john cornyn's communications director just tweeted sitting down with one senator and gre getting his approval does not mean others will line up. i anticipate some tough questions certainly during his confirmation hearings. these issues are going to be visited and looked at carefully. he made some controversial comments when it comes to gays. he will be questioned on that as well. but, again, i think that chuck hagel coming out saying that he now supports -- rather schumer coming out saying that he now supports hagel will be a big boost. >> and i imagine, kristin, that the one individual who is probably rather relieved that the spotlight is elsewhere is john brennan. >> reporter: i think that that's right. there's no doubt about that. this certainly gives him a little bit of time and space after, you know, scrutiny being on him.
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but, again, i think that, you know, this is big news today, that schumer came out and said that he is going to support hagel moving forward. i think a lot of eyes were sort of waiting for this decision, watching to see what would happen, and you're right, gives john brennan a little bit more room moving forward. >> kristin welker, as ever, thank you so much. >> thanks, martin. >> and we'll be right back. my insurance rates are probably gonna double. but, dad, you've got... [ voice of dennis ] allstate. with accident forgiveness, they guarantee your rates won't go up just because of an accident. smart kid. [ voice of dennis ] indeed. are you in good hands?
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[ voice of dennis ] indeed. meet the 5-passenger ford c-max hybrid. when you're carrying a lot of weight, c-max has a nice little trait, you see, c-max helps you load your freight, with its foot-activated lift gate. but that's not all you'll see, cause c-max also beats prius v, with better mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid. it's time now to "clear the air." and today is the actual anniversary of that day back in 1929 when this nation welcomed the arrival of a saint dressed in the skin of a baby boy by the name of martin luther king, jr. and while dr. king's legacy has been most accurately described in terms of his nonviolent
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pursuit of civil rights, some unfortunate and deluded individuals have tried to claim that a gun appreciation day this coming weekend will somehow honor the great man's legacy. it's such nonsense that it's hardly worth the time refuting. but as the president now reflects upon recommendations from his gun violence task force, there are some words of dr. king that seem particularly pertinent. in his famous letter from birmingham jail written in 1963, dr. king spelled out the perennial danger of doing nothing because doing something may be difficult. as we continue to remember those 20 children and 6 staff members who were shot and killed at that elementary school in newtown, connecticut, let's heed the words of dr. king. we will have to repent in this generation, he wrote, not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but fohe


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